archive of TRASHionals cryfest flap?

Old college threads.
Locked

Should we stand for this?

Poll ended at Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:16 pm

No
1
11%
Hell, No! (also, I love Malomars)
8
89%
 
Total votes: 9

Rothlover
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archive of TRASHionals cryfest flap?

Post by Rothlover » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:16 pm

As some of you might know, there was this big to do about TRASHionals, where one person was really offended by the seeming presence of misogynistic question material and allusions. These qualms included a problem with a bonus on Sublime's date-rape, which is anti-rape, and a question on Tawana Brawley (which was stupid to write on, but offensive only in that it was stupid to write on.) She wrote a megillah of a blog post that her boyfriend linked to on his blog at this address http://c12h22o11.blogspot.com/2006_05_0 ... 6568497411 . However, all traces of that post and the 20 or so comments it generated have been erased.

I, and several others who went about the task, have not yet been able to find an archive of this post. If anyone is able to retrieve a previously saved copy, or access it through web archive, please do so. As the policies of this forum suggest, erasure after the fact is thoughless at best and malicious at worst. This post became a major issue for quiz bowl, and then it, as well the area where it was debated, was apparently deleted on a whim, after many bent over backwards to apologize that someone was (gasp) OFFENDED. So, as WillDurantProxy would want, please help us retrive this pointless screed against freedom of question writing.

WWPD - What Would Papool Do
Dan Passner Brandeis '06 JTS/Columbia '11-'12 Ben Gurion University of the Negev/Columbia '12?

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Post by Dan Greenstein » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:33 pm

Do you really have nothing better to do, Passner?

There is no need to dredge up such ugly material. There is especially no need to do it on this board.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:46 pm

This topic shows promise, though, because if the problems accused of TRASH are brought up, a reasonable discussion of how true these problems are would be good for the game.

It's for this reason I request the thread stay open.

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Post by Rothlover » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:57 pm

I have better things to do, between Papool and this I have lost a day's worth of reading of re-imaginings of Kleist plays :(

First, I would like to give props to Fred, who has shown a willingness to support the existance of topics even if they "offend his sense of quiz bowl aesthetics" or contain "ugly material," as long as there is a point to them.

This brings me to the question I was asked after posting this: "Why do you object to this "screed" being deleted?" This question was posed by everyone's favorite bearded scamp. This is the gist of my reply.

" because t.e person who made that blog post opened up this massive bag of worms with it. TRASH will probably react with that in mind, based on what essentially one person said on a public website. now, because she deleted it, we have no archive of this post that might affect trash policy, and its comments, which showed the overly-concillitory nature of some TRASH members, as well as others.I think it (the blog post and subsequent comments) should be there, for perusal. It may effect how one of the major quiz bowl question producers approaches material, as well as the fact that, again, it was posted to a public site/forum, thus making it important as a record. I would not have had to dredge up such "ugly material" if said material hadn't been erased in the first place.

Hope that better explains my viewpoint. :)
Dan Passner Brandeis '06 JTS/Columbia '11-'12 Ben Gurion University of the Negev/Columbia '12?

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Post by No Rules Westbrook » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:01 am

I demand that this post be kept pristinely available for continued perusal so that the producer of the next "biggest hobo in qb" poll can have it for reference on all things "bearded scamp." Also, freedom of speech is good, censorship/whitewalling is bad.

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Post by Chris Frankel » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:06 am

In Passner's defense, the sort of kneejerk rants he laments is already having a chilling effect in the academic quiz bowl world as well. Witness how one Eric Kwalter [sic] explicitly rejected the proposal of Ryan Westbrook and myself to write a rape theme packet for his MATTE subject tournament, forcing us to make do with a watered down and less diverse and exciting sodomy theme.
"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."

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Post by fizzball » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:18 am

The person in question did delete her post early, but it should be noted that she normally only keeps blog archives for three months or so anyway. As is her prerogative.

Chilling questions on those suckmonkeys in Sublime is fine with me.

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Post by Rothlover » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:20 am

fizzball wrote:The person in question did delete her post early, but it should be noted that she normally only keeps blog archives for three months or so anyway. As is her prerogative.

Chilling questions on those suckmonkeys in Sublime is fine with me.
It is certainly her preogative, but that doesn't make it in any way something one should condone. By calling TRASH out publicly, she backed them into a corner, strong-arming them into apology and response, and possibly affecting the content of their future product. This all came about because of one post. Now, that one bombastic, non-sensical post is deleted, however the effect it has will remain. So, she got to win her little crusade, and then she deleted the thread, so no one can see how strong or weak her argument was, or even that she raised a stink to begin with. Certainly, such backhandedness can't be condoned?

Also, suckmonkees or not, I'd take Sublime over the key-tar any day of the week.
Dan Passner Brandeis '06 JTS/Columbia '11-'12 Ben Gurion University of the Negev/Columbia '12?

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Post by sabine01 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:37 pm

Ryan Westbrook wrote: Also, freedom of speech is good, censorship/whitewalling is bad.
I can see why Dan G. locked this initially, as his reaction was my initial knee-jerk reaction last night. This had the potential to get really inflammatory really fast. There is a modicum of civility that these mods attempt to keep even in the college threads and it's best we keep that in mind...

I can now also see why this was revived. Thank you for clarifying yourself, Dan P.

I would reccomend this now stay open so long as this stays relatively civil and productive. But I am no mod, and my opinion is just the opinion of one woman.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.

~T~
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Post by BigFlax » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:47 pm

Dear Dan:

Shut up. Seriously, shut the fuck up. Your obsessive, asininely late post is the sort of thing that I would really prefer not to respond to, but since it's obvious by where and how you posted it that you're doing so only to try and rally the troops over what should be a dead issue by this point, I felt compelled to jump in and make it known that your grasp of the facts of the case is tenuous, your grasp of our intentions is nonexistent, and your argument as a whole deserves to be taken out back and shot.

Let's start with this: TRASH was never under any obligation to change their content over the feelings of Alma and myself regarding the TRASHionals set, and they continue not to be. Despite what you may think, TRASH is composed of adults capable of making their own decisions. Voicing complaints to them is not the same as bullying them. If they thought the complaints were frivolous or stupid, I doubt they would pay much heed to them to save the business of two people who probably won't play more than a couple more years anyway.

But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that they have been "strong-armed" into changing things based on our complaints. Is that really going to affect most people's TRASH-going experience? I'm sure for someone like you, the porn questions are an integral part of the TRASH experience (I'll leave it to the peanut gallery to decide why that might be), but I'm willing to bet that most people would not be bothered, and many would be unlikely to notice, if porn questions disappeared altogether. Not that this is what we were asking for, either; I'm confident that no one would have walked up to James after the tournament and said, "The packet set was pretty good, but why weren't there more clues involving violence against women?" had the rape clues been completely excised.

Your attack on the post in question - and by the way, why not attack my post, which makes similar points and is still on the web for all to read, you little pussy? - is cowardly. By using words like "screed" and "bombastic," you attempt to discredit the post unseen for the audience here, most of whom, presumably, did not get to read it. Never mind that you barely offer anything resembling counter-arguments to what was there - and surely you must remember at least one of the many points if you feel qualified to judge the post as "bombastic" - except for those of the "sit down and shut up" variety, which are not only idiotic but are emblematic of the very problem you are implicitly claiming does not exist.

But then, you posted here assuming you would not have to defend yourself. A post of the same sort to the Yahoo group would undoubtedly have resulted in a much-deserved shouting-down, and who wants that? You would probably claim that this is made acceptable since Alma did the same thing, but the simple fact is that Alma had no real desire to turn her blog into a war zone. While I cannot speak for her with 100% certainty here, I believe most of the reason her post came down was because she did not want to deal with the kind of harassment to which you are subjecting her here, especially on her personal blog. The attacks levied at her for daring to suggest that quiz bowl might have an undercurrent of misogyny do more to suggest that it is there than not; the implicit argument is that it is out of line for a woman to suggest that she is made uncomfortable by the behavior of certain males if she is participating in an activity that is male-dominated.

So pay attention, because I'm only going to say this once: quiz bowl is not the New England Patriots' locker room. It isn't the clubhouse at Augusta National. It isn't the Friar's Club. It's an activity in which there is no reason for discrimination against women or their feelings. My God, Dan, they don't like seven clues about rape? They'll want the vote next!

"Male-dominated" may describe the raw gender makeup of quiz bowl, but there is no reason for it to describe the aggressive behavior towards people who dare to suggest that certain things might not be in the overall best interest. Just because you don't care what a woman thinks in regards to questions of questionable taste doesn't mean no one does, which, again, means that TRASH is not being forced to do something just because they're making a move you wouldn't have made.

Besides, dissent against our opinions carries little weight coming out of the mouth of someone who has already shown what he thinks of women in quiz bowl in the past. Remember Ann B. Davis 2005? Alma and I played with you and Ted, a mistake that certainly will never repeat itself. It was obvious from the start that you only cared about having me on the team; Alma was a sacrifice that had to be made, like she was my girlfriend who was going to tag along with us and oh, by the way guys, can she sit in the fourth chair. Never mind that she's been playing quiz bowl for years (guess how I met her?); never mind that she's our team captain and does an excellent job at it. She wasn't to be taken seriously, a point hammered home when, between rounds and for no reason in particular, you said the following:

"Well, I know I'm at least the third-best player on this team."

Please don't embarrass yourself by dragging out stats showing how this was true. The truth of the statement is immaterial, especially since, by the stats that day, you were the second-best player, to say nothing of the fact that we were not reading the leaderboard at the time. But it wasn't just that you said it - it was that you said it right in front of Alma, as though she weren't there, or as though, as a girl and thus obvious buzzer rock, she wouldn't mind because what you were saying was so patently true.

That's you in a nutshell. And that's why I'm saddened, but not surprised, to see that you're the one resurrecting a months-old post for the sake of agitating about a potential lack of questions about fisting in future TRASH packets. Maybe you're just worried about a softening of TRASH that will ultimately lead to your inability to name your teams after anal sex. Maybe you have the world's biggest porn collection and are afraid to see your bailiwick done away with. Maybe you just like making trouble, or maybe you truly are a blatant misogynist who's angry that the little girl stood up to complain about something that she viewed as a problem. Whichever of those it is, you do yourself no favors with your irrationally angry attacks. If you disagree with what Alma and I have said regarding the TRASHionals packets, by all means, e-mail TRASH and tell them that you think it would be a crying shame if pornography and rape clues were replaced, and get all your friends to do the same. But I think you'll find you're fighting a losing battle. Women are part of the community whether you like it or not, and I'm pretty sure the question writers are starting to realize that it's in their best interest to write inclusive packets. Women get alienated enough by the attitudes of a lot of circuit players; we don't need packets that reinforce the idea that we view them primarily as sex objects. It's your prerogative how you want to deal with that, but for your own sake, maybe you should try picking a way that doesn't make you come off like a slouching Neanderthal.

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Post by Leo Wolpert » Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:07 pm

BigFlax wrote:Dear Dan:

Shut up. Seriously, shut the fuck up. Your obsessive, asininely late post is the sort of thing that I would really prefer not to respond to, but since it's obvious by where and how you posted it that you're doing so only to try and rally the troops over what should be a dead issue by this point, I felt compelled to jump in and make it known that your grasp of the facts of the case is tenuous, your grasp of our intentions is nonexistent, and your argument as a whole deserves to be taken out back and shot.

Let's start with this: TRASH was never under any obligation to change their content over the feelings of Alma and myself regarding the TRASHionals set, and they continue not to be. Despite what you may think, TRASH is composed of adults capable of making their own decisions. Voicing complaints to them is not the same as bullying them. If they thought the complaints were frivolous or stupid, I doubt they would pay much heed to them to save the business of two people who probably won't play more than a couple more years anyway.

But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that they have been "strong-armed" into changing things based on our complaints. Is that really going to affect most people's TRASH-going experience? I'm sure for someone like you, the porn questions are an integral part of the TRASH experience (I'll leave it to the peanut gallery to decide why that might be), but I'm willing to bet that most people would not be bothered, and many would be unlikely to notice, if porn questions disappeared altogether. Not that this is what we were asking for, either; I'm confident that no one would have walked up to James after the tournament and said, "The packet set was pretty good, but why weren't there more clues involving violence against women?" had the rape clues been completely excised.

Your attack on the post in question - and by the way, why not attack my post, which makes similar points and is still on the web for all to read, you little pussy? - is cowardly. By using words like "screed" and "bombastic," you attempt to discredit the post unseen for the audience here, most of whom, presumably, did not get to read it. Never mind that you barely offer anything resembling counter-arguments to what was there - and surely you must remember at least one of the many points if you feel qualified to judge the post as "bombastic" - except for those of the "sit down and shut up" variety, which are not only idiotic but are emblematic of the very problem you are implicitly claiming does not exist.

But then, you posted here assuming you would not have to defend yourself. A post of the same sort to the Yahoo group would undoubtedly have resulted in a much-deserved shouting-down, and who wants that? You would probably claim that this is made acceptable since Alma did the same thing, but the simple fact is that Alma had no real desire to turn her blog into a war zone. While I cannot speak for her with 100% certainty here, I believe most of the reason her post came down was because she did not want to deal with the kind of harassment to which you are subjecting her here, especially on her personal blog. The attacks levied at her for daring to suggest that quiz bowl might have an undercurrent of misogyny do more to suggest that it is there than not; the implicit argument is that it is out of line for a woman to suggest that she is made uncomfortable by the behavior of certain males if she is participating in an activity that is male-dominated.

So pay attention, because I'm only going to say this once: quiz bowl is not the New England Patriots' locker room. It isn't the clubhouse at Augusta National. It isn't the Friar's Club. It's an activity in which there is no reason for discrimination against women or their feelings. My God, Dan, they don't like seven clues about rape? They'll want the vote next!

"Male-dominated" may describe the raw gender makeup of quiz bowl, but there is no reason for it to describe the aggressive behavior towards people who dare to suggest that certain things might not be in the overall best interest. Just because you don't care what a woman thinks in regards to questions of questionable taste doesn't mean no one does, which, again, means that TRASH is not being forced to do something just because they're making a move you wouldn't have made.

Besides, dissent against our opinions carries little weight coming out of the mouth of someone who has already shown what he thinks of women in quiz bowl in the past. Remember Ann B. Davis 2005? Alma and I played with you and Ted, a mistake that certainly will never repeat itself. It was obvious from the start that you only cared about having me on the team; Alma was a sacrifice that had to be made, like she was my girlfriend who was going to tag along with us and oh, by the way guys, can she sit in the fourth chair. Never mind that she's been playing quiz bowl for years (guess how I met her?); never mind that she's our team captain and does an excellent job at it. She wasn't to be taken seriously, a point hammered home when, between rounds and for no reason in particular, you said the following:

"Well, I know I'm at least the third-best player on this team."

Please don't embarrass yourself by dragging out stats showing how this was true. The truth of the statement is immaterial, especially since, by the stats that day, you were the second-best player, to say nothing of the fact that we were not reading the leaderboard at the time. But it wasn't just that you said it - it was that you said it right in front of Alma, as though she weren't there, or as though, as a girl and thus obvious buzzer rock, she wouldn't mind because what you were saying was so patently true.

That's you in a nutshell. And that's why I'm saddened, but not surprised, to see that you're the one resurrecting a months-old post for the sake of agitating about a potential lack of questions about fisting in future TRASH packets. Maybe you're just worried about a softening of TRASH that will ultimately lead to your inability to name your teams after anal sex. Maybe you have the world's biggest porn collection and are afraid to see your bailiwick done away with. Maybe you just like making trouble, or maybe you truly are a blatant misogynist who's angry that the little girl stood up to complain about something that she viewed as a problem. Whichever of those it is, you do yourself no favors with your irrationally angry attacks. If you disagree with what Alma and I have said regarding the TRASHionals packets, by all means, e-mail TRASH and tell them that you think it would be a crying shame if pornography and rape clues were replaced, and get all your friends to do the same. But I think you'll find you're fighting a losing battle. Women are part of the community whether you like it or not, and I'm pretty sure the question writers are starting to realize that it's in their best interest to write inclusive packets. Women get alienated enough by the attitudes of a lot of circuit players; we don't need packets that reinforce the idea that we view them primarily as sex objects. It's your prerogative how you want to deal with that, but for your own sake, maybe you should try picking a way that doesn't make you come off like a slouching Neanderthal.
I don't really have anything to say, as I could give two shits about TRASH. But I'm quoting this in its entirety in case the edit feature is brought back in the near future.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:14 pm

I don't think pre-emptively dismissing something that Dan hasn't actually said yet by accusing him of being a misogynist (on the basis of your expectation that he will, at some point in the future, disagree with something that a woman said) is really productive. There is a lot to discuss about the treatment of women in quizbowl and in quizbowl questions; perhaps neither you nor Dan has discovered the ultimate truth here and it needs further analysis. Perhaps your allegations that Alma's complaints were all justified and that she was attacked in some way for daring to speak out against some imagined patriarchy are, in fact, questionably accurate and could be better investigated if we had the original post to examine. Perhaps tournaments that are not run by middle-aged men obsessed with Internet cartoons and do not contain any expected porn in the distribution--we could call them "academic" tournaments--currently do include many women who do not seem to feel oppressed. All of these notions deserve discussion and I don't think starting a tiff with one person based on a cryptic comment made 18 months ago that you have spun like a top to turn into a sexist statement is a proper substitute.

With a defense of this discussion posted, I'd like to contribute to the discussion itself. I did see the original post, and the text of the questions discussed. I believe that exactly one of the questions which raised ire was, in fact, innappropriate. A tossup on "foot binding" is a legitimate history question in some academic tournaments; certainly the practice has great import to Chinese culture and history, not to mention women's history as a field, and is worth knowing about. However, asking about it in a trash tournament puzzles me. It does imply that there is something inherently fun or entertaining about causing pain to women. Without other questions in trash about random history topics, there is indeed no good reason to ask about that stuff and its presence in the set does reflect badly on the philosophy of the writers.

However, the excitement over some of the other questions seems unjustified. A central query raised in that post was "why are you asking trash questions about rape? would you ask trash questions about murder?" The answer to that is, of course there are questions about murder, especially fictional murder (fictional rape being the issue in three of the questions mentioned). Gangsters, serial killers, and Don King come up in trash all the time, and why shouldn't they? Once you add in war movies, rap songs about shooting people, and video games, you practically have a killing theme packet every round, and so what? On the specific questions, "Date Rape" is a well known alternative rock song that still gets played on the radio and there's just no reason not to ask about it. Alleged crimes at Rick Reilly's house are of course something that people might know about Rick Reilly. Tawana Brawley is one of the most famous news scandals of the past 25 years and should be asked if we're going to ask about the news industry and figures like Al Sharpton at all. Most ludicrous to me was the complaint about the Dune question. It seems like Lord of the Rings and Dune are the only things in the trash literature field that ever get answered regularly to begin with. For better or worse, there is a lot of non- and semi-consensual sex in the Dune books and it would be hard to write many questions on them without alluding to it. So we're left with either writing all trash lit questions on Lord of the Rings, or having even more trash lit questions go dead than already do (which is most of them).

If someone goes out of his way to make every question in a packet refer to rape, that's one thing. But we're talking about five instances, maybe a few more that I've forgotten, over a set of 15 packets (600 questions). That seems within the acceptable range to me.

As far as porn questions go, I object to them not on a moral basis but from a quizbowl perspective. They're impossible for most people to answer; there's a lot of porn out there, mostly divided into niches, and I don't know how anyone proposes to write enough porn for a year's worth of trash tournaments without having most of the questions go dead. Though having questions in the minor categories go dead seems to be a grand tradition in trash, it probably should not be. So, if trash ever cleans up its act in terms of being a good quizbowl format, you should probably see a lot less porn questions as a consequence.

There will be illegal, immoral, unpleasant, and obscene things in almost all entertainment aimed at adults. If you want trash to just ask about G-rated movies, Raffi albums, and the 2 professional athletes in the US who have never been accused of a crime, then come out and say it. If you want to continue hearing the typical things that come up at a trash tournament, then you will just have to learn to deal with hearing words that make you uncomfortable.

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Post by Chris Frankel » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:00 pm

I'll preface this post by saying that I have no personal stake in this controversy since I've never met Robert or Alma and I don't play trash, but I can't help but be bothered any time I hear someone calling for speech or behavior to be proscribed because it offends someone's personal sensibilities.

To avoid writing a long novel of a post as I am wont to do (but will probably do anyway), I'll just rattle off a quick list of observations, none of which are exclusive to this particular instance, but reflect general things I've noticed about how a lot of people in the circuit conduct themselves.

1. The "eat my cake and have it too" sentiment of "I just want to be treated equally, but I also want to use my status as a minority to give my demands extra weight" is hypocritical. Pick one, and pick the former, because pandering to groups that arbitrarily happen to be minorities is silly.

2. If someone makes a scene, people notice. I had nothing to do with TRASHionals, and yet I heard about the outburst at the tournament and was referred to the blog posting because numerous people who were at the tournament found it very conspicuous. When I read Alma's blog entry, she seemed to be saying that she wanted a public discussion of her opinions, and certainly posting it on a publicly viewable blog facilitated that end. Was that the case, or was she just looking for a way to stroke her ego and get validation through a forum that she could exert control over as most LiveJournal users tend to do? I would like to think it was the former, and not the latter disguised as the former.

3. Sexuality is a basic part of human existence, and rape can be a noteworthy occurrence. There are lots of significant academic subjects that involve rape (rape of the Sabine women in history, Titian's Rape of Europa in art, Ajax's rape of Cassandra in myth, the rape of Clarissa Harlowe in lit). With less stringent standards of topic inclusion than academic quiz bowl, TRASH is probably even more prone to having subjects with relevant relationships to the act of rape. These things are important, so they come up; there may not be a compelling reason (other than it'd be really funny) to load a packet up with rape references, but there's certainly no compelling reason to forbid them. It may not be bothersome not to hear a rape/sex question, but it sure as fuck is bothersome to learn that they've been proscribed because a few vocal individuals arbitrarily felt like forcing their sensibilities on the general community. Besides, no player gets morally outraged or feels victimized hearing about Uranus or Abelard getting castrated, so why should have to accomodate the double standard of someone who gets all bent out of shape hearing about those poor little girls being harmed?

4. This idea of there being an entrenched system of discrimination against women is being bandied about like it's a fact everyone agrees with, even though there isn't any real evidence of harm or intent to do harm for that reason. I think Passner's behavior really only represents Passner in this case. If someone wants to make the case that oppression exists, please by all means do so. Just don't pull out some unfalsiable, unquantifiable, straight-out-of-Womyn's-Studies-101 gibberish about there being an "latent culture of discrimination that doesn't need to be overtly manifested to cause harm to the minds and souls of women" or whatever terminology postmodernists like to use to avoid having to provide evidence. Show us that this discrimnatory system exists and was established with the intent to discriminate. Show us that rape and sex questions are written to further this system of discrimination (as opposed to being written because they are relevant to subjects being asked about). Show us that taking out every reference to rape and female sexuality would substantially increase female participation and reduce this alleged climate of discrimination. If we're going to make these claims about all of quiz bowl and not just TRASH, I can start a premptive rebuttal by directing anyone to look at the roster makeup of the top 4 ACF teams, including the national champions.

5. "Maybe you're just worried about a softening of TRASH that will ultimately lead to your inability to name your teams after anal sex."

And what, pray tell, is wrong about naming a team after anal sex? It's not tasteful, but why is it so harmful and dangerous that it needs to be banned? If someone is compelled to be passively offensive through his team name, I'm sure he can find some way to do it regardless of what arbitrary provisions are made anyway.


So while Passner's post was certainly inflammatory, I think he had more reasons to create it beyond an objection that "the little girl stood up to complain about something that she viewed as a problem." It seemed to me that his issue was the possibility that the deletion of her blog entry would make it so her vocal complaint would not be held accountable for possibly leading to a array of major policy changes, and that's something that neither a little girl or a very big man (like Rome.ro) should expect to get away with.
"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."

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Post by Rothlover » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:00 pm

To answer a few points in Flax's post.

1. I didn't post to Yahoo because a. It is becoming increasingly irrelevant as more tournaments and such are initially announced here and Yahoo becomes a place for inquiries on former qb-playing Poker players and reservation of practice space for some random event and b. because I didn't feel compelled to force the question on 1500 people. It is here as a thread for anyone to discuss and view as they see fit. If someone wants to shout me down here, as they say, kol ha-kavod. They are most welcome to.

2. I didn't deal with your post because it wasn't the post that attracted all the attention and gathered 20+ comments. While it is all well and good, laudable even, that you have kept your venting unedited and available for all to view, it was not THE post around which the whole issue circled. It is akin to asking why people aren't satisfied with the studio cut of Greed when there are 42 potential reels out there.

3. I am sorry if Alma somehow felt belittled by my comments at ABD 2005, that wasn't what I was going for, and I guess that could have been pretty thoughless of me in terms of some of the things I said. However, anyone who has spent any time with me knows that I am characterized by self-depricating and absurd statements. At the time, as someone only a year and a half removed from putting up 17 PPG at his first TRASH regionals, I was pretty amazed that I was holding my own on that team (You and Ted are pretty widely held to be among the best trash players out there, and Alma had put up solid numbers at regs and clearly knew stuff on the bonuses we didn't, so the remark and other remarks like that are out of incredulity more than anything.) I am still amazed when I get a tu, much less when I get several in such a way that my stats look good, so I started to say some shit. None of that at the time was meant to hurt the feelings of Alma, and again, if it did, then I apologize. I guess I just though it was "Manny being Manny." Considering about half our club my three years as president was female, that I had worked with a female VP, and that they have outscored me at times at TRASH and other events, I certainly don't view females as buzzer rocks just because of their being female.

4. My post was asininely late because I was just looking for more thoughts on TRASHionals 06 on Icerocket (some people post about events months after the fact), and I became aware that the thread on Alma's blog was missing. If I had discovered this a week after TRASHionals I would have reacted the same way. The absence of something potentially important is deleterious for discource on the substance of the game. I viewed the thread as an important document (shock, I believe a woman created something important, and perhaps it is time they get this so-called sufferage...) I've said stuff I wish I could take back 100 times, some of it noteworthy, others not. In no case do I see deletion of it to be ethically acceptable, hence the reason for my post.

5. I do not inherently believe there should be questions on porn or rape of violence or what have you. I do not believe there should inherently be questions on any particular facet. For instance, I don't end up talking to a TD saying "why weren't there more questions on movies with happy endings." I am simply of the mind that question content should NEVER be limited by what might OFFEND someone. When that becomes the status quo, as Matt aluded to, we are left in fear of what to write on, and the canon is defined not by merit, but rather by what will cause no hurt feelings to the most sensitive attendees.

I would NEVER argue against the validity of someone who wished to write a theme packet (other than the horrid distribution issues) in which the answers were "the mass suicide at York," "Masada," "Zyklon B," "Chmelnicki," "the Flatows," "shaheeds," "Leo Frank" "The Nation of Islams' theories on race engineering as perpetrated by Jakob (all underlined of course..." etc. People should write on whatever, and not feel beholden to feelings, not becase feelings don't matter, but because those who are likely to take offense will find something to take offense with, and this is still just a game. Writing a question on Tawana Brawley doesn't make you a wimyn-hating, rape-thirsty Hun.
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Post by grapesmoker » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:06 pm

Chris Frankel wrote: 4. This idea of there being an entrenched system of discrimination against women is being bandied about like it's a fact everyone agrees with, even though there isn't any real evidence of harm or intent to do harm for that reason.
Known authority on things Terry Eagleton says otherwise:
wacky postmodern hijinks wrote: Thus, for male-dominated society, man is the founding principle and woman the excluded opposite of this... the 'other' of man: she is non-man, defective man, assigned a chiefly negative value in relation to the male first principle. But equally man is what he is only by virtue of ceaselessly shutting out this other or opposite, defining himself in antithesis to it, and his whole identity is therefore caught up and put at risk in the very gesture by which he seeks to assert his unique, autonomous existence.
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Post by No Rules Westbrook » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:25 pm

Ah, what the hell, I can't resist such an invitation. To add to Frankel's points - A topic like this is always appropriate no matter when the events in question happened because we live in a world where increasingly "self-righteous outrage" always seems to win, no matter who or how many people believe in it. That is, it takes precisely one indignant vaguely offended person to make everyone dive for cover and say "let's play it safe, better not do that again." Arguments, logic, pleas for abstract principles like freedom of expression all get paid lip service...and then routinely lose to hypersensitive nonsense. The point being made here is just that those who proffer such nonsense should at least do so transparently - so that when we're all living in femi-fascist hell, we can at least look back to see who got us there.

Second, I'm only too thrilled to see the appearance here of the ubiquitous liberal crap argument - I like to call it the "what would it hurt you" approach. You know - "Oh, would it be so bad if we didn't have questions on porn?"..."Couldn't we just do without questions mentioning violence toward women?"..."I know you don't agree with marriage, but can't you just go through the motions?"..."You don't have to be wrong, but what will it hurt to say you're sorry anyway?" Well, It does hurt you - in fact it kills you. These are the arguments of people who have no standards and no values, no criterion for judging the worth of anything other than personal whim and caprice...thankfully, they have leverage over plenty of cowards who will kowtow to that caprice.

Oh yeah, as for Passner being a misogynist, that's just silly and he's not. I am.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:45 pm

BigFlax wrote:you little pussy?
I think the opinion of your AHAN-esque post and how much it dragged what could have been a discussion between adults has been pretty well documented by far more intelligent people thatn I, but I'm surprised that this hasn't been pointed out.

Your entire post is revolving around how women need to be respected, correct?

Then, uh... why the usage of "pussy," which has to be offensive to at least a good number of women, and males as well? At least be consistent.

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Post by Scipio » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:13 pm

There are lots of significant academic subjects that involve rape (rape of the Sabine women in history
I could actually give substantially less than a damn about this whole argument - it seems clear to me that while questions about rape as a subject are in poor taste but censorship is wrong, etc., etc., typical archliberal rant - but I wuld like to point out that this so-called "Rape of the Sabine Women in History" involves a) an event which is of exceedingly dubious "historicity", and b) was not a mass rape, but instead a kidnapping. In fact, Livy (AUC 1.10) and Dionysius of Halicarnassus (2.20) go out of their way to assert that the women involved were not violated, but eventually grew to love their captors. The word for this event is "Rapta", which most properly means "seizure", not "sexual assault".

Also, I am not a misogynist. I am an arrogant pedant and pompous windbag, however.
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Post by Rothlover » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:14 pm

Scipio wrote:
There are lots of significant academic subjects that involve rape (rape of the Sabine women in history
I could actually give substantially less than a damn about this whole argument - it seems clear to me that while questions about rape as a subject are in poor taste but censorship is wrong, etc., etc., typical archliberal rant - but I wuld like to point out that this so-called "Rape of the Sabine Women in History" involves a) an event which is of exceedingly dubious "historicity", and b) was not a mass rape, but instead a kidnapping. In fact, Livy (AUC 1.10) and Dionysius of Halicarnassus (2.20) go out of their way to assert that the women involved were not violated, but eventually grew to love their captors. The word for this event is "Rapta", which most properly means "seizure", not "sexual assault".

Also, I am not a misogynist. I am an arrogant pedant and pompous windbag, however.
Seriously, thanks for derailing a thread with a modicum of productivity. Your post was was as detumescent to discourse on the subject as Clint Barmes is to the chance of scoring a run (or insert your own papool or Bea Arthur-based analogy.)

So, seriously (to get this back on topic), I was hoping to get a hold of the post that led to this thread, and no one actually has a copy? No one? Flax/Alma, do you even have a copy? It is pretty clear from the posts here that there is demand for it.
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Post by fizzball » Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:03 pm

I wouldn't count on it. Flax is not a regular reader, I don't think Alma's even registered on this board, and I doubt either of them would lend you a hand in this matter -- especially after she previously declined your request to crosspost here during the original flap.

So, the point of the thread again?

1. To raise objections to Alma's objections. You, Frankel, & Weiner apparently read the initial thread; why you didn't post objections to it when it was live is beyond me. Maybe there was a bit of respect for Alma that you've since revoked. Maybe rebutting her arguments then would have been perceived as rallying to the defense of a fraudulent format. Who knows. You're too late, in any case. Sorry.

2. To voice concern that her objections will result in "chilling" policy changes at TRASH. Whether or not you accept Flax's statement that voicing a complaint does not equal bullying, as a former insider, I can tell you
a). These are not new concerns; where we set "the envelope" had always been a problem, dating from when we briefly let high-schoolers play; and
b). the Evil/Bizarre/Weird minor category, where porn, true crime, and the like reside, is ass-hard to do well (behold, Matt Weiner and I are sort of in agreement on a thing). To keep it fresh for an audience which tends to play longer than in other formats, one tends to become increasingly obscure and/or offensive. Reining in, or eliminating, the category would IMO make for better questions. Additionally, the potential for offense would be lessened.

And frankly, I don't see why people who don't play/don't like the format are all that concerned with potential policy changes out of some "greater good" concern. Maybe I think Star Jones got a bum deal at The View, but I'm not protesting it out of some notion of preserving TV's best interests. What, is the slippery slope here that people will feel empowered and complain *more* after tournaments? I doubt such a thing is possible.

So what we're left with is whether or not to "condone" a flagrant violation of the policies of this forum. I mean clearly, this cannot stand. Good luck in levying your sanctions, and in guarding against future outside violations. Maybe you can get Blogger to get with the program and disable its Edit feature.

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Post by Rothlover » Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:28 pm

fizzball wrote:I wouldn't count on it. Flax is not a regular reader, I don't think Alma's even registered on this board, and I doubt either of them would lend you a hand in this matter -- especially after she previously declined your request to crosspost here during the original flap.

So, the point of the thread again?

1. To raise objections to Alma's objections. You, Frankel, & Weiner apparently read the initial thread; why you didn't post objections to it when it was live is beyond me. Maybe there was a bit of respect for Alma that you've since revoked. Maybe rebutting her arguments then would have been perceived as rallying to the defense of a fraudulent format. Who knows. You're too late, in any case. Sorry.

2. To voice concern that her objections will result in "chilling" policy changes at TRASH. Whether or not you accept Flax's statement that voicing a complaint does not equal bullying, as a former insider, I can tell you
a). These are not new concerns; where we set "the envelope" had always been a problem, dating from when we briefly let high-schoolers play; and
b). the Evil/Bizarre/Weird minor category, where porn, true crime, and the like reside, is ass-hard to do well (behold, Matt Weiner and I are sort of in agreement on a thing). To keep it fresh for an audience which tends to play longer than in other formats, one tends to become increasingly obscure and/or offensive. Reining in, or eliminating, the category would IMO make for better questions. Additionally, the potential for offense would be lessened.

And frankly, I don't see why people who don't play/don't like the format are all that concerned with potential policy changes out of some "greater good" concern. Maybe I think Star Jones got a bum deal at The View, but I'm not protesting it out of some notion of preserving TV's best interests. What, is the slippery slope here that people will feel empowered and complain *more* after tournaments? I doubt such a thing is possible.

So what we're left with is whether or not to "condone" a flagrant violation of the policies of this forum. I mean clearly, this cannot stand. Good luck in levying your sanctions, and in guarding against future outside violations. Maybe you can get Blogger to get with the program and disable its Edit feature.
I am about to eat, so I will be brief. Firstly, I remember posting in the comments under my name in Alma's blog post. I very politely asked why she did not voice concern with material like the "faggot" tu, which, though historical clearly could OFFEND someone who had been called such a word in the past, if they were so inclined to take OFFENSE. I replied calmly and politely, because I felt the post should be met with such a demeanor, as Alma was free to air out her grievances, just as I was free to then ask why they should be viewed as valid, or something to kow-tow (hopefully the use of that term doesn't affend people who bow) to. I also know that several other people you would probably consider "academic" posted in that blog (I do not recall if they used their real names, having an archive of it all would help for things like this...) Point being, objections were raised, and in general, when I have issues, I take them to a TD or writer directly instead of posting them online seeking reenforcement that indignation is justified (yes, I know Flax/Alma also complained to James, but the major impact [i.e. making this a public spectacle] occured with the post.)

Second, why does there need to be a category called Evil/Weird/Bizarre anyway? As so many a cultural relativist will argue (many of whom will also be all "offending people is to be avoided at all costs,") will claim those three terms are all "relative, man." Why not just use common sense in writing TRASH miscellany, and occasionally common sense as to shit that is important culturally and such will lead to the occasional question on a crime case or something with "golly, full frontal nudity," or violence against women (and men for that matter, I hear that men can be victims of either sexual act that came up as a tu, and could probably be dateraped as well I'd imagine.)

Again, about to go, so I'll make a quick point, then maybe come back and finish. I started this thread, and I certainly continue giving TRASH my business, and noted to James that I felt this packet set (though I thought some dist shifts were a bit annoying) was a good deal better than the previous set, and I lauded him for that. I have played in TRASHionals all four years of my collegiate career, will continue to do so (unless some absurd content restrictions come about) and have played pretty much every trash event I can get to. I also play ACF and NAQT and every invitational/open academic event I can get to. I am not some massive partisan, and I don't wish to be merely written off as such simply because I "offend your sense of trash/wholesomeness aesthetics" or something equally bizzare. Most people I know who posted in this thread or who you might view as partisans also have played in numerous trash/TRASH events in the past, so that argument is worth about as much as a Brien Taylor rookie card that has been shat upon by an elephant fed many laxatives.
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Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:48 pm

fizzball wrote:2. To voice concern that her objections will result in "chilling" policy changes at TRASH. Whether or not you accept Flax's statement that voicing a complaint does not equal bullying
Given that a certain member of TRASH did, in the past, attempt to have a certain university's quizbowl team disbanded because they named their tournament after a female body part, it can be known with certainty that voicing a complaint about this sort of thing goes well beyond simple discourse and is in fact an attempt to change the policy outright without any debate and a precursor to who-knows-what further action. "Bullying" is a perfectly accurate term for the way this went down.
And frankly, I don't see why people who don't play/don't like the format are all that concerned with potential policy changes out of some "greater good" concern.
I have played in nine trash tournaments including one official TRASH event (regionals last year), TDed another, and assistant-edited another. I was on the winning team in two trash events and was the leading individual scorer in one. I plan to play Chicago trash this summer and TRASH regionals this fall. I would love to edit a trash tournament on my own sometime in the coming year, time permitting. I even applied to be a TRASH writer years ago! Your above comment is not equipped with the facts.
So what we're left with is whether or not to "condone" a flagrant violation of the policies of this forum. I mean clearly, this cannot stand. Good luck in levying your sanctions, and in guarding against future outside violations.
Would you care to elaborate on just what you are talking about?

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Post by Rothlover » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:16 pm

fizzball wrote:especially after she previously declined your request to crosspost here during the original flap.

So, the point of the thread again?

1. Who knows. You're too late, in any case. Sorry.

2. Reining in, or eliminating, the category would IMO make for better questions. Additionally, the potential for offense would be lessened.

Maybe I think Star Jones got a bum deal at The View, but I'm not protesting it out of some notion of preserving TV's best interests. What, is the slippery slope here that people will feel empowered and complain *more* after tournaments? I doubt such a thing is possible.

So what we're left with is whether or not to "condone" a flagrant violation of the policies of this forum. I mean clearly, this cannot stand. Good luck in levying your sanctions, and in guarding against future outside violations. Maybe you can get Blogger to get with the program and disable its Edit feature.
You know you've made it when you have a proxy (or proxie, as it is clear the moderator user filter is working brilliantly...)

But yeah, I've made some "sense" of what you were trying to convey in some of these comments, but in others the meaning seems pretty elusive. Clearly, you are laying awake at night trying to write things that are non-sensical/absurdist (been reading your Beckett or Genet lately, or has Chuck Klosterman just really upped his game?)

To point 2, when TRASH solves its pyramidiality problems some of the other 19/20 of distribution, then it can worry about writing perfect

The whole, you're too late in any case comment really strikes me as childish. I mean, at 36 years of age, don't you think highly enough of yourself to NOT say something that boils down to "nanny, nanny, foo foo, you can't catch me."

Fine, so Alma declined to cross-post here. I can't even remember what her reasoning was at the time. Perhaps because I don't have access to the material to, you know, find out what her logic behind that was. Since I don't have that logic, I am forced to make an educated guess. In this case my educated guess is she was looking for a shoulder-to-cry-on party or a mass-indignation-at-the-TRASH-phallocracy party.

I don't know what Star Jones has to do with this. Are you upset the weight she lost has been deleted from her body? Are snippets of episodes containing her now non-existant, awash in some 21st-century-videotape bonfire of the fattities?

No one here is trying to force the entire web to conform to the ideals of "not deleting significant shit," however, if there is someone who wants to make bold accusations against a gender, play the hurt/offended/hear-me-roar card as if she wasn't one of 150 people at an event and then send her boyfriend to try and shout me down and call me a pussy for wanting stuff to still exist, then chances are I will continue doing what I feel compelled to be doing.
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Post by Rothlover » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:28 pm

To clarify: I meant when TRASH perfects the pramidiality of the other 95-97% of the distribution, then it can worry about flaws in what seems to work out to 5-6 questions per set. One wouldn't see NAQT worrying about the pyramidiality of philosophy tus if they were working out kinks in history, likewise, an invitational wouldn't try and perfect that one historiography tu before it had polished the lit. I didn't mean like "TRA.SH SMASH," or anything of that sort.
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Post by Rothlover » Sat Jul 22, 2006 12:29 am

Are team/SQBS stats ever going to be up anywhere? Might someone have been OFFENDED by their PAPG? :razz:
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Deja vu

Post by WestBerkeleyFlats » Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:50 pm

I have no comment about the merits of anyone's opinions, but this reminds me of the type of modest contretemps that might have involved Guy Jordan and Carol Whatshername a decade ago. Or maybe Pat Matthews and Jenny Rosenbaum Matthews.

Now, that's meta.

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